Category: CircleUp News & Resources

Why I joined CircleUp

After spending 15 years focused on investing in consumer and retail companies in the public markets, I was struck with the feeling that there must be something more. Don’t get me wrong, it felt great investing in a stock and watching it go from $10 to $14 a share and reaping that 40% return.   ...

Why I joined CircleUp

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to work with a top tier investment bank and leading quant hedge fund. I had the chance to build mathematical models for multi-million dollar private investments at Goldman Sachs, and manage a billion dollar systematic macro fund at AQR Capital. Two absolutely amazing firms, with world class people ...

Market Size of Consumer Private Investing- How Big Could This Possibly Be?

In 2012, when CircleUp’s founders were raising a seed round, many VCs scoffed at the idea of a consumer-focused (food, beverage, personal care, pet, etc.) investment play. One tech VC even said “I don’t even know what consumer is, I literally can’t think of a single CPG product.”  Another well known VC scoffed at our ...

Announcing the CircleUp25 2018 Winners

This post originally appeared in Forbes.  This marks the sixth year of CircleUp25, our awards recognizing some of the most innovative consumer and retail brands of the year. CircleUp25 is decided on by our expert judges and Helio, our machine learning platform that identifies, classifies, and evaluates 1.4 million brands. This year saw fierce competition ...

CircleUp’s Women in Tech Compilation

The Grace Hopper Celebration is an annual 3-day event celebrating women in technology. It is a really big deal – the world’s largest gathering of women technologists which sells out in a matter of minutes. It presents topics including FinTech, ML, VR, IoT, HCI, and hardware and explores the ways in which women fit into said industries. ...

Why We Invested in Mented

We are excited to announce our recent investment in Mented Cosmetics, founded by KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson who first met as friends at Harvard Business School. Mented is based in Harlem and is the everyday beauty solution for women of color. Mented, short for pigmented, is designed by women of color for women of ...

Succeeding at Costco & the Club Channel [webinar]

What’s the best time and strategy to approach Costco? As an emerging brand, how do you stand out and succeed in the club channel? Today’s shrewd buyers and savvy consumers demand elevated, unheard of product experiences. Join us as industry veteran Jeremy Smith shares tips and best practices in this ever-evolving retailer. This webinar covers: ...

Why We Invested in Kosås

We are excited to announce our investment in Kosås. Founded by Sheena Yaitanes and based in Los Angeles, Kosås is a botanically-enriched, high-performance line of color cosmetics. Kosås is inspired by natural beauty and aims to offer women unmatched formulations with universal appeal. There are an overwhelming number of beauty products on the market, and ...

Company Vision: What it is and why it matters

“To fly what others only imagine.” Woah. This is the vision statement of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center and it’s pretty awesome. It informs and inspires at the same time and I think it serves as a great example of what an effective vision can be. NASA hit the nail on the head, but it’s ...

What is a Chief of Staff Anyway? Part I

The title “Chief of Staff” connotes some combination of DC politics, Supreme Leader Snoke (Star Wars reference), and the Minions. It goes without saying that at a San Francisco fintech company, the role looks very different. I’ve been in the Chief of Staff role at CircleUp for just two months now, and I’ve already been ...